Sony Xperia ZR Smartphone Doubles as an Underwater Camera


Waterproofing is one specialization that compact cameras have had that smartphones (and their cameras) haven’t, but that’s about to change. Sony has launched a new phone called the Xperia ZR that will help smartphones further erode the point-and-shoot market by opening the door to underwater smartphone photography.

That’s right: the Xperia ZR is a smartphone that’s dust-resistant and completely waterproof to depths of up to 5 feet for up to 30 minutes. Rather than having to buy a separate camera or underwater housing, owners will be able to plunge right into wet environments to document their life and adventures.


The phone has a 13-megapixel Exmor RS sensor, a 4.6-inch screen, 720p video recording, Android OS, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, and 2 gigs of RAM.

There’s a dedicated camera button on the camera for using it like a compact camera, and photo/video features are accessible through the button even through the camera’s lock screen, helping you quickly get the camera ready for image taking and memory making.

Other photo-related features of the camera include HDR mode, noise reduction, and 15-frame-per-second continuous shooting (with no image limit).


Sony says the Xperia ZR will launch sometime before the second half of 2013. No word yet on pricing, but given the fact that durable/waterproof compact cameras cost hundreds of dollars on their own, having underwater photo capabilities built into a standard smartphone will likely be quite popular with adventurous consumers who want flexibility without bulk.

(via Sony via Engadget)

  • Duke Shin

    …for 5 feet.

    My phone can do double that with a sandwich bag.

  • Adam Cross

    I really like the look of this, not necessarily for it’s waterproofing, but it looks good

  • jay

    These quality of photos by smartphones keep DSLR camera market alive :-)

  • eraserhead12

    smartphone cameras aren’t meant to replace DSLRs or even MILC’s, they’re design to eliminate the redundancy of carrying around a low/mid-range P&S.

    the average person just wants something of passable quality to document everyday life; they probably own better cameras, but only use those when they intend to take better photos (i.e. vacations, gatherings, photoshoots).

  • Brixton

    Putting your phone in a sandwich bag and dipping it in water…scary!

  • Mike

    Dipping your phone in water without a sandwich bag…Idiotic!

  • nameless

    Not with this new Sony. See.. make.believe. hehehehe

  • Jonathan

    waterproof to 5 ft for 30 minutes? and “replacing underwater cameras or housings that cost hundreds of dollars?” Whom are they kidding?

  • Gord

    They said it would erode the market by catering to people who don’t want to carry an extra device, not replace it. Though for some people it will. Replacing is your word, not the article writer’s.

    There’s no need to be freaked out by this. The point is that smartphones are moving into the underwater camera market. Gradually, not by developing an all out substitute.

  • Joey Duncan

    Seriously, this should be a feature for all phones for the 25 yr old persons and below market. *most* of us have gotten a phone wet at one point or another. This would be really cool have.

  • Brixton

    Dipping your phone in water with or without a sandwich bag…idiotic and scary.

  • Brian Grady

    How deep is the common toilet? That seems to be where most Phones end up when it comes to water submersion.